News / Middle East

VOA Interview: Egypt Presidential Hopeful Outlines Vision

Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh (file photo)
Mohamed Elshinnawi
Egyptian presidential hopeful Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is a practicing physician with extensive experience in international relief work. A former leading figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, he is also a prominent Islamic activist. Known for his relatively liberal positions on social issues, he is supported by young Islamists, liberals and even Egypt's Copts.  (You can listen to the full podcast in Arabic here.)

Elshinnawi: If you are elected president, what will priorities will you set for your first 100 days in office?

Aboul Fotouh: Restoring security and stability would be my number one priority because the current laxity in security is a remnant of the Mubarak regime. His police officials are abusing their authority in order to spread instability. Tight security is crucial to restarting our economy and attracting and maintaining the flow of investment.

Elshinnawi: There is one looming challenge for the new president--the sentencing of former President Mubarak, scheduled for June 2nd. If he is acquitted and you are the elected president, what will you do?

Aboul Fotouh: While I respect court rulings, it is a well-known fact that the trials of members of the deposed regime have lacked the cooperation of the executive branch in terms of providing prosecutors and investigators with documents necessary for justice to prevail. So I will not hesitate to order a retrial of Mubarak and his associates. The new trial would take place within a new rule of law to ensure that the judiciary is completely independent from the executive branch.

Elshinnawi: Your platform calls for transforming the Egyptian economy into one of the world's top 20 economies by 2020. How would you be able fulfill that promise, given the ailing state of the Egyptian economy?

Aboul Fotouh: Egypt's economy will never collapse. In the medium range, we will be able to rejuvenate the economy by opening the door to Egyptian, Arab and foreign investment. I have met with many investors, and they have assured me that they are just waiting for the environment to stabilize before resuming their investments in Egypt. They realize that a trusted and elected leadership will pave the way for realizing the great potential of the Egyptian economy.

Elshinnawi: Social justice is a major goal of the Egyptian revolution, but it requires huge resources to achieve. How would you deal with that issue?

Aboul Fotouh: I would work to achieve that goal gradually, starting with two huge projects to provide quality education and healthcare, as well as make improvements to the infrastructure in poorer areas. While Egypt will continue to have a free economy, with private sector comprising 75 percent of all economic activity, the state has to ensure social justice by securing minimum income and providing job opportunities.

Elshinnawi: What role you envision for Egyptian expatriates in rebuilding Egypt?

Aboul Fotouh: We now have about 8 million Egyptians living abroad. We trust their loyalty and love for their homeland. Most of these Egyptians left the country because they were fleeing 30 years of an authoritarian regime and its corruption. Now they can contribute to rebuilding a post-revolutionary Egypt either through their technical skill or investment.

Elshinnawi: You have promised to make the Egyptian army the strongest in the region. Would you maintain the army's economy as it has been running--apart from the general budget?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing would operate outside the state budget. Anything that currently falls outside the budget will be brought back into it, because my platform calls for budget unity. All national resources will be subjected to scrutiny and auditing. That would not contradict our keen interest in supporting a strong professional army to protect our homeland and secure our development.

Elshinnawi: Some still consider you a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood and fear if they were to vote for you, Egypt would end up being controlled by an Islamist parliament, government and an Islamist president. What would you say to them?

Aboul Fotouh: There is no problem in having a Muslim Brotherhood candidate, but as I announced from day one, I am running as an independent candidate, representing all Egyptians. I chose to be independent to serve the whole country, as opposed to representing a single party or a single group. Now, we see that the Muslim Brotherhood has fielded a second candidate after their first choice was disqualified. So no one can claim that I am the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.

Elshinnawi: Some Islamists are calling for changing the constitution to implement Islamic law. Do you agree with them?

Aboul Fotouh: Nothing needs to be changed. Article Two of the constitution stipulates that Islamic law is the major source for legislation. That notion is still widely supported by all and would not be touched. Egypt has been a civil--not a theocratic--state for 15 centuries and will be a modern democratic state that respects Islamic law as a reference for legislation under the auspices of the High Constitutional Court.

Elshinnawi: Some presidential candidates have pledged to reconsider the Camp David accords or renegotiate some of its articles. What are your thoughts?

Aboul Fotouh: This treaty needs and deserves reconsideration. The elected parliament should review and reconsider the Camp David agreement, because some of its articles encroach on Egyptian national security and interests.

Elshinnawi: U.S. – Egyptian relations are considered important to both countries. During Mubarak’s era, that relationship entailed strategic cooperation. How do you see the future of Egypt’s relationship with the U.S.?

Aboul Fotouh: We are keen to have good relations with the U.S., but we need to reformulate that relationship in order to secure Egypt’s interests and prevent Egypt from being a satellite state. As for strategic cooperation, it is a term that was coined to, in essence, make Egypt a satellite state in the U.S. policy orbit, at the expense of Egypt’s interests. We will not allow that to be the case with any country. Instead, our relations would be based on common interests and mutual respect.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ADEL ALSHEAR from: OSLO NORWAY
May 18, 2012 3:19 AM
THISIS ABW ALFTWH IS ONE THE LEDEAR GROUP ALGMAAAH ALASLAMEH THE GROUP HAVE IN ABW ALFTWH WITH ALTHWHRI . THIS IS BECOME START GROUP ALGMAAH ALSLAMEH AS GROUP IN BY TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO THE MR MHM DHSNI MBARK AND TIME EX POLITIC LAND OF FRO MR MHMD ANWR ALSTAT GROUP POLITIC 23TH07TH1952TH THE GROUP HAVE GMAL ABD ALNASR ALLTHI WITH ZKREA MHE ALDEN AWITH KHALD MHI ALDEN WITH . THIS IS WAY NOW AS THE COMWITHOUT ALL GROUP ALGMAAH ALASLAMEHGROUP ABW ALFTWH ANDALTHWHRI .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs